Many Nigerians have expressed worry over the significant increase in the pump price of petrol across the country, even as long queues persisted at filling stations on Wednesday.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited adjusted pump price at its stations, with the new price ranging from N488 per litre to N557, up from N184-N194 per litre.
In Abuja, major NNPCL stations were selling at N537 per litre while Shema on Lugbe/ Airport road sold a litre for N530 while Shafa and A.A RANO sold it for N540. Black marketers were selling at N650 per litre.
Abuja residents who spoke with our correspondent lamented the new price, which they described as unfair as they are still battling with other macroeconomic challenges.
“This is from frying pan to fire, I bought 10 litres for N5,400. I can’t even afford to fill my 50 litres tank at this rate, and I can’t even work with this because how much am I expected to charge passengers,” Haruna, an Abuja taxi driver, said.
BusinessDay observed that some shops despite not having electricity did not use generators as business owners preferred to wait for power to return.
Felix Samuel, who has a barbing saloon, was not willing to attend to customers, even though he had fuel which he bought on Saturday. He said he had to be strategic with how he would use the fuel he had.
“I can’t offer my services at the usual price again, and if I don’t have many customers I won’t use the generator. I’ll rather wait for the power distribution company to restore power and people that can’t wait can go elsewhere or bring fuel that I will use,” he said.
BusinessDay on Wednesday obtained a document which showed NNPC’s new pump prices across the 36 states in the country as well as the Federal Capital Territory.
According to the document, there is at least 176 percent increase across the board. For example, the price of petrol in Abuja moved from N194 to N537 while in Maiduguri, it rose from N199 to N557. In Lagos, it increased from N184 to N488 per litre.
In Ilorin, Uyo, and Umahia and Owerri, the price is N511 per litre. It is N537 per litre in Abuja, Jos, Lafia, Minna and Makurdi. In Kano, Kaduna, Dutse and Gusau, it is selling for N540 per litre, and N545 per litre in Kebbi.
NNPCL, in a press statement on Wednesday, announced that it has adjusted the pump price of petrol across its retail outlets, in line with the current market realities.
The company added that that prices will continue to fluctuate to reflect market dynamics and regretted any inconvenience this may have caused.
“We assure you that NNPC Ltd. is committed to ensuring ceaseless supply of products,” it stated.
In Jalingo, the Taraba State capital, our correspondent reported that long queues had resumed in fuel stations within the metropolis, a few of them were dispensing fuel, while many had closed their gates to motorists.
Some motorists who spoke to our correspondent expressed surprise over the sudden disappearance of the product and called on the government to take immediate and proactive steps to address the issue.
At the NNPP Mile six Jalingo, where motorists lamented having spent several hours in queue, the commodity was sold at N550 per litre while several other filling stations in the town dispensed it at N580 per litre.
Abubarkar Bello, Taraba State chairman of the Commercial Tricycles and Motorcycles Association, lamented that most of the commercial tricycle riders in the town had already packed their tricycles because they found it difficult to operate because of the petrol price hike.
He said members of the association would have to increase the fares to enable them to cope with the fuel scarcity and price increase.
Bello appealed to the government to swiftly address the issue so as to alleviate the sufferings of Nigeriana who had just come out of cash crunch.
“As you can see, life entirely has become very difficult these two days in the state because of the increase in the price of fuel. We want to appeal to the government to, as a matter of urgency, intervene and save us from this terrible situation. If fuel price should continue at this rate, I doubt so much if some people will survive it for a few months,” he said.
Similarly, a bus driver who identified himself as Kizito John, lamented that if nothing was done to address the issue, the ordinary Nigerians would be the most hit in the situation.
Kizito, who said he was at an NNPC station to buy 40 litres, said he ended up buying only 20 litres because of the abrupt increase in price of the product.